Thursday, June 5, 2014

Just Play Some Games

[Before I start, this is in no way dismissing Sarah Reed's challenge. I only offer an alternative for others who find it hard to play games in general.]

While Sarah Reed's "10 games 10 times in 2014" Challenge is great and all (while still allowing people to freely play other games in the process), it does pigeon-hole the hobby in a specific constraint. In no way am I critiquing the challenge; it's a fine one to impose, especially for those who don't play certain games in their collection often enough. But what about the others who don't play games enough, period?

Play Any Games

Really. Any game. You pick.

I originally had some lavishly-written piece that spiraled out of hand, so I axed it to just say "play games." That's the hard truth, isn't it? Put aside this challenge for a moment, and think why this may not be for you. It's not for me, and that's because I don't play enough games. I originally intended to tackle this challenge head on at the beginning of the year. I thought that, with my collection, I would just pick 10 of them to "enlist" and play. But realistically, I just want to play with ALL my games. ANY game, really. And thus, the self-imposed challenge of "ANY 100 games of ANYTHING" was contrived.

I would even go so far as to say one should do a "play the first game of any of your games in your collection" - a "10 games 1 time in 2014," or #10x1in2014 hashtag. But really, you want to get that first game in someday, right? And I'm sure most of us have that certain stack of games that has yet to experience human touch, am I right?

Play With Anyone

It's simple, really. Find someone available, and play a game. Everything starts somewhere...the only thing you need to do is START. Gather friends for a game night, pull some co-workers for some lunch gaming, or lure your significant other into some friendly competition. Find a local boardgame convention or one that has boardgaming, and you can find random strangers to game with!

...Not these folk, though. They were outright weird.*

And no half-assing it, too. Play it from beginning to end, or whatever end you find fitting. Don't know the rules well enough? If you're at an agreed consensus, still keep going! The important thing do to is to see it through to the very end. Unless it's Monopoly. Then you're fucked.

Even when you can't find anyone to play, find solo games to play. Or look up for a solo variant! Many fans have created their own, posting them all over BoardGameGeek!

Bottom line: No game will be played unless you start, and no game will start unless you play.

Log Your Plays

NUMBERS!! Delicious numbers....

It may seem minor, but logging your plays can visually offer more incentive to play more. I've been logging my plays since February this year through, which has a handy way of viewing your plays on one page.

Recording a play isn't as difficult as it may seem. You can be as sparse with detail as you want, or you can recall your most interesting plays. Most of mine detail at least how many players were there, and whether I won or not. When possible, I'll regale in some marvelous move someone took, or some hilarious anecdote. But in the end, the moment you hit submit, your count will go up one more.

And boy, do those numbers count up. I still look at my count in awe. Not too long ago, I would have never played many of my board games. Now? I hit double digits with ease!

Let's Review

So, what have we learned here?

  • Play Any Games
  • Play With Anyone
  • Log Your Plays
That's it. You'd be surprise how far this will take you. Maybe next year, you can tackle the "10 games 10 times in 2014" Challenge. But now? Just enjoy the games! Have fun with others! See if you can play 100 games of just...well, anything!

Just go out there and play! Happy gaming!

*Kidding! Only Glen was weird. #TeamCheryl

[Thanks, Couple Vs Cardboard, for an awesome game of Blood Bowl Team Manager at KublaCon this year! You can check them out at their site! Also follow them on Twitter and YouTube! You can also follow Sarah Reed in Twitter, too!]
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